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Who is responsible in a bus, train or airplane accident?

At some point, most Floridians eventually ride on a bus, train or airplane. These types of vehicles are the stock in trade of common carriers; i.e., entities that transport people, goods or both for a fee. Common carriers are often liable when their buses, trains or airplanes get in an accident.

Common carriers operate under federal regulations, primarily those issued by the Federal Aviation Administration. On top of those regulations, common carriers must also meet other basic requirements such as using the care and diligence that a reasonably careful commercial vehicle operator would use.

When a common carrier violates these expectations and that failure leads to a commercial vehicle accident, the common carrier often can be held liable. Consider, for example, a bus driver who drives too fast through a turn, upending the bus in the process. Because a reasonably careful bus driver would have driven slower, the common carrier may be liable for injuries that arose from the bus tipping over. Or, if a pilot failed to flash the fasten-seatbelt sign before entering turbulent airspace, which ended in a passenger getting hurt. Again, the common carrier might be liable.

But before a common carrier can be held liable, an injured Floridian will need to provide evidence showing that the common carrier was at fault. Evidence can come in many forms, including images, inspection records, eyewitness testimony and expert testimony.

Turning that evidence into a winning case is not always as easy as it might seem. Because of that, Floridians injured in a commercial vehicle accident may benefit from discussing their situations with an experienced personal-injury attorney, someone who understands the process and how to make the most of the evidence available.

Source: FindLaw, "What is a Common Carrier?" Accessed Dec. 13, 2016

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